Tuesday 20 November 2012

Synopses of the summer 20x20 lectures now available

Regular readers of Irish Genealogy News will recall the 20x20 series of lunchtime family history talks held during August at the National Library of Ireland (NLI). Organised by Eneclann and Ancestor Network, who together provided the Genealogy Advisory Service at the NLI throughout the summer (and continue to provide the service at the National Archives of Ireland), the series consisted of twenty 20-minute lectures, held Monday to Friday throughout the month.

When the series was first announced, I admit to having been rather sceptical about the value of such a short lecture, even though the line-up included an impressive roll-call of experts. But having attended a few of the talks, I was quickly won over by the format. (You can read my report on two of the talks here.)

Each speaker presented their talk for the agreed 20-minutes, putting over all the relevant facts and figures and their relevance for genealogy research. This focus meant a huge amount of information could be presented as the minutes ticked away. But it was the Q&A sessions after each talk that added the unexpected bonus because it gave everyone in the audience an opportunity to quiz the speaker, seek additional detail or clarify a point. For me, this element of the format was as informative as the formal presentation. And it lasted longer! I'd estimate that each 20-minute talk was followed by nearly 30 minutes of questions.